March 1, 2024

The municipal council of La Trinidad, Benguet passed an ordinance pushing for the promotion and protection of indigenous cultural dances and musical instruments in a bid to preserve and promote the traditional and customary practices especially indigenous dances in conformity with traditional rituals. 

“The customs and traditions of the people of the municipality are learned, shared, and inherited from their ancestors who established it from the distant past. These customs and traditions established their unique identity as a people,” stated the ordinance, authored by Councilor Madelyn Lucas.

The ordinance also aims to divert the youth from negative trends, such as the ill effects of too much computer and cellphone use.

It aims to educate the younger generation on the appropriate use of indigenous materials including clothing, accessories, and musical instruments and the confidence in dancing.

Further, it aims to push for the appreciation and recognition of the evolving choreograph in cultural and traditional dances and in playing or using indigenous and traditional musical instruments.   

“Most of the young generation of La Trinidad, Benguet does not enough knowledge of some of our important customs, practices, and traditions especially the indigenous dances, chants, and the corresponding use of indigenous musical instruments,” it stated.

The municipality shall partner with all learning institutions in coordination with the Department of Education and Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) office and the barangays to provide a specific avenue for the promotion and preservation of culture and tradition in compliance with the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act.   

Coordination should also be observed when cultural and traditional practices are done such as rituals in the town. Universities, colleges, and secondary schools should coordinate with the IPMR municipal office while elementary schools will coordinate with the IPMR of their respective barangays.

Also, tutorial and training shall be conducted among representatives of universities and colleges, elementary and secondary schools, accredited cultural and traditional dance groups, IPMR representatives and out of school youth representatives.

The culminating activity for the workshop shall be a cultural night for all participants to showcase what they have learned.

The La Trinidad Cultural and Traditional Advisory Council shall be created to design, plan, coordinate and spearhead the implementation of the activities. To put the ordinance in motion, a P500,000 budget shall be allocated under the Municipal Tourism Office. – Ofelia C. Empiana